The Scribbler

14 August 2007

Reading list

Filed under: books — The Scribbler @ 19:31

I’m getting really bad at remembering what I’ve read and enjoyed recently, so between here and Facebook, I’m going to try and keep something that will jog my memory.

I seem to have acquired a number of books just recently that I’ve not specifically chosen. Not sure whether that’s a good or bad thing, but first up is Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl which was leant to me by a good friend. 

You really do have to admire an author who sets up the premise for her story within the first chapter, and then keeps you hanging for another 310 pages to fill in the details.

And what dense pages they are. Dense with the thoughts, feelings, literary references, debates, deliberations and general grumpiness of our unreliable narrator, Blue van Meer. By degrees both fascinating and irritating, she takes you on a trip through the eclectic and over-stocked second-hand bookshop that represents her life and relationship with her Dad, his girlfriends, her attractive and unconventional schoolteacher and a cabal of school fellows who would be right at home in Donna Tarrt’s Secret History.

This doesn’t fit the neat pigeon-hole of a murder mystery, though it contains both. It’s not meant to be solved. The clues are there, but I defy anyone to pick up every single one along the way. Some will no doubt hate its multiple misdirections; its lack of definitives and, if this were a traditional murder mystery, I would too.  But in the end I decided it was better just to go along for the ride and reach my own conclusions. The author invites you to do the same.   

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